October Fitness Tips Published Sept. 28, 2016 By Michelle Walker 169th Force Support Squadron MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. -- What is the IT Band? The Illiotibial band is a thick piece of connective tissue that runs parallel to the femur from the hip to the knee. It attaches along the gluteus maximus and tensor fasciae latae on the side of the hip and connects on the lateral side of the tibia. One of its major functions is to stabilize the knee while running. Here are a few excellent exercises to keep your IT band healthy Side Leg Raise: Lie on your right side and lift your left leg to 45 degrees in a controlled manner, then lower it back down to the starting position. Make sure your pelvis remains in a neutral position. A more advanced version includes a loop of rubber tubing around your ankles for added resistance. Perform 20-30 reps. Clamshell : Lie on your right side with your knees and ankles together, with knees bent at about 90 degrees. Open your legs by activating your upper glute muscle. Make sure you maintain a neutral spine and don't rock your pelvis. Keep the motion slow and controlled. A more advanced version includes putting a loop of rubber tubing around your thighs just above your knee. Perform 20-30 reps. Side Hip Bridge: Lie on your side with your feet propped on an elevated surface about 1-2 feet off the ground. Push your bottom foot down and lift your torso using your hip muscles while keeping a stable spine. Return to the starting position. Perform 10-30 reps. Side Shuffle: With your knees slightly bent in a squat-like position, take ten steps to one side. While still facing the same direction, take another 10 steps back to your starting position. This is one set. A more advanced version includes a Thera-band or loop of rubber tubing around your ankles. It should be tight enough so it provides constant resistance during the entire movement. Perform 3-5 sets. If you are looking for a yummy pumpkin snack or desert you have to dry this dip. Pumpkin Fluff Dip 1 can 15oz pumpkin puree 1 12 oz container of sugar free cool whip 1 small box of sugar free instant vanilla pudding Mix all three together and serve cold. Use any type of fall apple, or pear in this yummy treat. Optional - I use pumpkin spice instead of just cinnamon on top of the dip before I serve it.